Support pours in for CM, national leaders claim ECI decision 'biased'
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday the destruction of Vidyasagar's bust by the BJP was not an isolated incident as the party had been involved in similar incidents in the past as well.
Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said: "Vandalising the statue of Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar may not be viewed as an isolated incident. Incidence of vandalism of statues is not a new phenomenon for BJP."
During her election campaign later in the day, Banerjee pointed out that the BJP leaders pulled down a statue of Lenin in Tripura after they came to power.
"We can have different political ideologies but demolishing a statue is highly condemnable," Banerjee said during her rally referring to the Tripura incident.
Banerjee said the Election Commission of India's decision to curtail the campaign time for nine Bengal seats that will vote on Sunday was biased. She alleged the step was a direct attack on democracy and taken under the directions of the BJP. She said people would give a befitting reply.
The Chief Minister was not only infuriated by the enormity of the incident but was considerably vocal in her protest against the BJP. During a press conference on Wednesday, Banerjee trained her guns at the BJP for its alleged role in influencing the ECI after it curtailed the duration of campaign for the last phase.
Banerjee's protest against the BJP and her claims about the ECI decision was supported by various national leaders. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter to show her solidarity with the Bengal Chief Minister. She called Banerjee a lioness for speaking to BJP in the "language it understands".
Accusing the Election Commission of being biased, Mufti tweeted: " Bengal plunged into chaos and violence on Tuesday. Why did it take ECI 2 days to impose a ban on campaigning? Was it to facilitate PM's rallies? Such brazen bias by a constitutional body proves its subservient to the whims and fancies of BJP. How low will BJP stoop to wrest power?"
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah echoing the same views asserted that the TMC chief will emerge victorious after the announcement of results. "The BJP can team up with the EC in Bengal, they can have a tailor-made campaign designed to fragment and polarise the electorate, they can have all their model code violations overlooked. None of it will matter because on the 23rd Mamata Official didi will sweep West Bengal," Abdullah wrote on Twitter.
Various prominent leaders across the country who supported Banerjee were Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Telugu Desam national president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Banerjee has also conveyed her gratitude to Naidu on her Twitter account.
Mayawati said the ECI had been working under the pressure of the Centre. PM Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah have been targeting Banerjee, she said.